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A new analysis of spending by liberal arts colleges | Inside Higher Ed

A study of how money is spent at three different liberal arts colleges.


Inside Higher Ed Story


PDF of the Report


From IHE: "The three (kept anonymous in the study to encourage full release of data) are similar in their size (1,560 to 1,648 enrollments), mission, academic offerings, the breadth of student activities and athletics, and loyal alumni. Students at all three institutions say that they picked them for their personalized approach to education and close contact with faculty members. Students give all three institutions high marks. (Lapovsky consults with colleges on their financial strategies; she said only one of the three colleges is a client.)


But the three institutions are also very different: in what they charge students, in their expectations of faculty, in their support for student activities, and in their admissions competitiveness."

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A Sobering Look at College Affordability - Head Count - The Chronicle of Higher Education

"So where does that leave colleges? Back in the day, tuition discounting was a way for colleges to get ahead, Mr. Zucker said, bringing in a better class than they otherwise could. Now, he said, with all of those economic forces working against students and their families, discounting is “necessary to live to fight another day.”"

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California facing higher $16 billion shortfall

California facing higher $16 billion shortfall | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

California's budget deficit has swelled to $16 billion and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, warns Gov. Jerry Brown.


More pain for our colleagues in California. 

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The Value of College

The Value of College | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Brooks and Collins on student loans, online lectures and whether undergraduate education is too much like community theater.


What do you think? Do David Brooks and Gail Collins make any sense on college costs andvalue?

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Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance

Is This the Answer to the Student Debt Crisis? FixUC's 5% Solution - DailyFinance | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
College tuition just keeps rising, and student loan debt is at an all-time high, leading to hefty loan payments that can overwhelm earners early in their careers.


What if students were indebted for 5% of the annual income for the 20 years after graduation?

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What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College

What's More Expensive Than College? Not Going to College | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
There is a cost to not educating young people. The evidence is literally all around us.


The International Youth Foundation's new Opportunity for Action (PDF) paper, according to The atlantic's Derek Thompson:


"Focusing on the United States and Europe, the IYF authors focus on the so-called "NEETs" of the developed world: those Not Engaged in Employment/education, or Training. A 2012 U.S. study put the social cost per NEET youth at $37,450, when you factored in lost earnings, public health spending, and other factors. That brings the total cost of 6.7 million NEET American youths to $4.75 trillion, equal to nearly a third of GDP, or half of U.S. public debt.


Statistics like this are a good reminder that, even though college tuition is famously outpacing median incomes, there is still something more expensive than going to school. Very often, that is not going to school."

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College & University Financial Planning: Strategies and Lessons Recently Learned

College & University Financial Planning: Strategies and Lessons Recently Learned | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Download this Planning for Higher Education article for free, through Friday only, in MOBI (Kindle), EPUB (iPad), and PDF formats.


"As colleges and universities face serious if not unprecedented financial challenges, financial planning is more important than ever. The authors reflect on their many years of experience in the financial planning game, thinking through the basics of the function and offering advice for going forward. The core image in this article illustrates the usefulness of the contents."

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Piled Higher & Deeper | University Business Magazine

Piled Higher & Deeper | University Business Magazine | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Graduate student debt runs out of control. in University Business magazine, Ann C. Logue shares some interesting observations:


"As of July 2012, graduate student loans will carry higher interest rates than in years past, and they won’t be subsidized. Another round of changes that increase borrowing costs are set for July 2013, and they won’t be the last. The reason is simple: The federal government is broke. 'Undergraduate is seen as somewhat of an entitlement,' says student loan debt management expert Paul Garrard of PG Presents in West Virginia. Hence, the brunt of cuts go to those who are older and stand to make more money from their additional education. Garrad is also a consultant to NSLP, the nonprofit financial aid solutions provider."

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Harvard And Yale Now Less Costly Than Public California Universities

Harvard And Yale Now Less Costly Than Public California Universities | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Going to school at Harvard University is cheaper than attending a public university in California.


It depends on how you add it up, but it's real. Education as a public good is dissipating.

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State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy

State Cutbacks Curb Training in Jobs Critical to Economy | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
State colleges are cutting financing for technical, engineering and health care programs as the need for training in those fields grows.


Not a good thing.

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International Students Pay Top Dollar at U.S. Colleges

International Students Pay Top Dollar at U.S. Colleges | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Foreign students boost the bottom line:


"This is the University of Washington’s new math: 18 percent of its freshmen come from abroad, most from China. Each pays tuition of $28,059, about three times as much as students from Washington State. And that, according to the dean of admissions, is how low-income Washingtonians — more than a quarter of the class — get a free ride.


With state financing slashed by more than half in the last three years, university officials decided to pull back on admissions offers to Washington residents, and increase them to students overseas.


That has rankled some local politicians and parents, a few of whom have even asked Michael K. Young, the university president, whether their children could get in if they paid nonresident tuition. “It does appeal to me a little,” he said."

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The Value Gap - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle editor Jeffrey Selingo muses on the continuing and growing stress about costs and a possible higher education bubble:


"But beyond demographics, what has really helped sustain the anything-goes pricing model in higher ed is the so-called wage premium. The reason so many students want to go to college, and the reason so many families are willing to pay anything for it, is the lifetime payoff of a degree: A typical bachelor’s-degree recipient earns about 66 percent more than a high-school graduate during a 40-year career.


Although wages for college grads actually fell over the last decade, the wage premium is not going to disappear. Employers may disagree about what they want in their workers, but they do agree on one thing. “They want education,” says Anthony P. Carnevale of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.


So going to college is worth it, but going to any college at any price may no longer be worth it."

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New School 'Forum on the Future' conference hits on changing financial picture for public colleges

Inside Higher Ed: "Because revenue streams have changed so significantly, and because the future of funding, and in particular state funding, is so uncertain, the second major issue that came up during the conference was how universities could begin to control the rapidly escalating cost of educating students. In 2009, public research universities spent an average of $36,190 per student per year, while private universities spent $66,744, according to the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Accountability, and Productivity. The only sector of higher education to cut how much it spent per student was community colleges. 'Cost increase and direction is unsustainable,' said Jamshed Bharucha, president of the Cooper Union. 'Universities are getting too expensive too fast. I just don’t see how that can be sustained, except perhaps by a few of the most wealthy private universities.'”


The Chronicle of Higher Education: "The conference was billed as a symposium on the future of higher education. But, by and large, speakers at the forum organized by the New School, part of its conference series on social research, were focused on the challenges of today, not on the possibilities of tomorrow—or those 20 years down the road. ...


Perhaps, suggested Mr. Grabois, a former president of Colgate University, the time has come to reform American universities' approach to tuition, in which the sticker price rarely represents the true cost of a college degree. Even upper-income students frequently receive financial aid, he noted, and he argued that those who can pay their way ought to.


Mr. Grabois's idea generated some buzz among conference goers, as did a proposal by Jonathan R. Cole, a professor and former provost at Columbia University, to form "intellectual leagues" of like-minded universities that would permit shared course work for students and greater collaboration among faculty members."

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'College is Worth It,' Say Emerging Adults " Clark U Survey Report

A new Clark U study reveals that emerging adults think that college is “worth it.” 

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Debt: Not just for undergrads

Debt: Not just for undergrads | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

These days, a law degree comes with $150,000 of debt -- and no guarantee of a job after graduation...


Sometimes perception is reality, and this is a growing perception.

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Student Loans Weighing Down a Generation With Heavy Debt

Student Loans Weighing Down a Generation With Heavy Debt | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Nearly everyone pursuing a bachelor’s degree is borrowing money, and as prices soar, a college degree often comes with an unprecedented financial burden.
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Community college leaders told privatization is wave of the future | Inside Higher Ed

"Some say they are already functionally "private": Both Curtis and Glasper referenced a table created by D. Bruce Johnstone, a leading scholar of higher education who is former chancellor of the State University of New York. In the table, Johnstone looked at various qualities such as 'mission,' 'ownership,' and 'sources of revenue,' and established a continuum from "high 'publicness' " to 'high "privateness."'" For sources of revenue, the continuum goes from public funds as the primary source of college budgets to tuition funds as the primary source.


By such measures, Curtis said, his college is private. By next year, he said, the college will be close to having two-thirds of its revenue come from tuition revenue. But Curtis stressed that his college is embracing many other characteristics of privatization 'and they are not all bad.'"

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In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus

In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

UC Berkeley chancellor stepping down. He's a former U of Toronto president. He's interviewed in Macleans On Campus, covering a broad range of issues about the UC system, Canadian higher education, and the challenges of the chancellor's roll. Planners will find it worth a quick read.


"Q: Just how bad did it get at Berkeley?


A: When I arrived there was a commitment from the government that our funding for paying faculty and staff salaries would go up four to five per cent a year. If that compact had held we would have $600 million this year. In fact, we have $240 million. So in five years, we’ve lost more than half of our money from the government to pay those salaries.


Q: How did you bridge that shortfall?


A: We were not naive about the budget. We whined somewhat, but we also knuckled down and said, “Okay, we need a comprehensive financial strategy.” I was president of U of T for four years, and I learned a lot. Some of the good management practices we introduced at Berkeley we had already introduced in Toronto.


Q: What did you borrow from U of T?


A: One thing is that every large institution like Berkeley and the U of T always has a large amount of money sitting waiting to be spent. Typically these amounts were of the order of [$750 million] to a billion dollars, and they’re sitting in accounts yielding the lowest interest rate. In Toronto we realized we were wasting money and began aggressively investing about half—$400 million or so. We introduced that at Berkeley and ended up generating an additional $30 million to $40 million a year in income."

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Fish? Check. Barrel? Check. | Inside Higher Ed

Dean Dad boils down the reasons behind the higher education cost spiral:


"The first, which is easy to explain, is cuts in public appropriations. My own college gets about five million per year less from the state than it got four years ago. (That’s over ten percent of its total budget.) That’s before adjusting for inflation. In many other states, it’s considerably worse. You simply cannot remove that much money that quickly without consequences.


The only problem with this theory is that while it’s unassailable in explaining the last few years, it isn’t as strong in explaining the preceding decades. Yes, the recent fiscal sinkhole matters, but tuition went up fast during better years, too.


The longer-term issue is productivity. And no, that’s not a euphemism for “you’re too lazy.” It’s simply to say that if you continue to measure learning in units of time, and those units don’t change, then your productivity increases will forever be zero, by definition. When the rest of the economy grows a few percent per year for decades, the gap compounds. It’s called “Baumol’s cost disease,” and it’s endemic to education and health care. And that’s true whether the professors or doctors are lazy, conscientious, or even heroic. It’s not about them."

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Performance (De-)Funding in Indiana | Inside Higher Ed

The fact that higher education has become such a salient issue in Indiana speaks to the changing times and the urgency of increasing credentials in a state that ranks 42nd in educational attainment and 41st in income per capita, Lubbers said.


“When you look at a knowledge-based economy,” Lubbers said, “it’s very difficult to believe you don’t need more students in your state to have higher education.”


The state will rely on performance-based funding to hasten some of the changes. Five percent of state allocations are now based on those measures, and a current budget proposal would up that one percentage point in each of the next two years.
“Performance funding is just now getting to the point where it’s at a level where these people need to consider it very seriously,” Lubbers said.
Those discretionary funds will give campuses incentives for working within the new strategic plan, which asks for a set of common core courses to be in place statewide by next year and for limiting degree requirements to 120 hours. The plan also calls for campuses to calculate and reduce the cost for each degree, but Lubbers acknowledged that’s hard to do while accounting for differences in institutional missions.


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Report on college loan delinquency rate raises alarms

Report on college loan delinquency rate raises alarms | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
Some experts have called the nation's soaring college debt load a "ticking time bomb" — a looming crisis threatening young adults, their families and the broader economy.


You could say that investment in higher education is our Number One resource, yet many forces are working against any such thing:


"Economists, meanwhile, have differing opinions about the strain of student loans to the broader economy. But there's reason to be concerned on this front.


When asked about such risks by a lawmaker in a hearing last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke replied, 'Well, student loans are becoming a very large category of loans.'


Indeed, the New York Fed put the latest outstanding student loan balance at $870 billion. That's more than the total credit card debt, $693 billion, and car loan debt, $730 billion."

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Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools

Why Tuition Has Skyrocketed at State Schools | SCUP Links | Scoop.it
The reason college tuition at public schools has grown so quickly in recent decades is that states have shifted more of the cost of education away from taxpayers and onto students.


“If you’re a state legislator, you look at all your state’s programs and you say, ‘Well, we can’t make prisoners pay, but we can make college students pay,’” said Ronald Ehrenberg, the director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute and a trustee of the State University of New York System.

College students do end up paying more. But in the past, after the economy recovered, most states did not fully restore the funds that were cut. As cuts accumulated in each business cycle, so did tuition increases.

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What's Behind The Rise Of College Tuition? : NPR

Once a relatively affordable option for many families, the cost of attending public colleges and universities is getting out of reach.


A very nice piece, covering reduction in state funding and municipal tax issues.

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Why Is College So Expensive? And Can Obama Make It Cheaper?

Why Is College So Expensive? And Can Obama Make It Cheaper? | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

Regarding the president's speech in Ann Arbor last week:


"Is this plan just "political theater of the worst sort," as University of Washington President Mike Young put it? Or is it a brave attempt at "tying the method of funding to the outcomes we're looking for," as William Powers, president of the University of Texas at Austin, said? Honestly, it might be a bit of both. Some aspects of the plan look like little more than window dressing in an election year. But overall, it seems like an earnest attempt to hog-tie some of the many wild forces that are pushing up the cost of a college education."

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Paul Whitney's comment, February 7, 2012 8:38 AM
Overall personnel costs and various fees charged to students are out-of-whack. Colleges continue to produce budgets that are geared to their survival and not directed toward the consumer [student] needs.
Miscellaneous charges are included in tuition costs that by their nature will continue to rise. Productivity is not a concept that Higher Education has any concept of or a clue how to address. Certainly, the federal bureaucracy is not the place for us to look for ideas on lowering costs...besides, how is No Child Left Behind working for you? Race to the Top is just another federal program throwing money at a problem. Schools that are innovative and manage their costs to revenue will survive.
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5 Colleges That Are Slashing Tuition Costs

As the cost of a college education rises every year, more young people, and their parents can hardly afford the expense of attending an institution of higher learning. Although college costs vary widely, with thousands...
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